The Best Backcountry Skiing Near Whistler

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Twenty miles north of Whistler Blackcomb lies the Pemberton Ice Cap, a glacier 10 times bigger and not nearly as crowded as the famous resort – on the busiest days, there are fewer than 100 visitors, meaning post-storm powder lasts two weeks instead of two hours. Aptly named Totally Awesome Adventures runs guided snowmobile trips to the glacier, where expert groups can tackle harrowing chutes, 50-degree pitches, and 10 to 12 epic, 2,000-foot descents in a day, while intermediates will hit fewer runs on gentler slopes. Everyone scores treeless British Columbia powder, waist deep or deeper, depending on the last dump.

“If you’re skiing Whistler, book a weeklong trip to make sure there are some sunny days,” says veteran TAA guide Ray Mason. “On the sunniest one, come see us, since we can go out only on the nice days. And if you snowboard, I recommend that because it’s easier to carry a board on the sled than skis.”

Just bring your gear, a backcountry pack with your favorite snacks, and a crew of like-minded friends, and TAA will have you carving in no time. The outfitter only works with private groups to make sure experts aren’t slowed down by beginners and beginners aren’t endangered by experts. The point is to get as many runs in as possible.

More information: TAA determines prices on a trip-by-trip basis.

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